Maps can be a really powerful visualization. It can show you general developments, but also on a regional level or even in your own street. I selected a few tools to create your perfect map.
Google Fusion Tables
One of the downsides of Google Fusion Tables is that you have very little influence on the style of the map. Fusion Tables Layer Wizard gives you some more possibilities.
The video below shows how to create maps with Google Fusion Tables.
Personally, I prefer CartoDB above Fusion Tables. The user interface is easier to use and you have more style options than in Google Fusion Tables. CartoDB provided a great series of videos on how to create maps with CartoDB. The first video is embedded below, click here for the full course.
Although the options of Mapsdata are quite limited, I recommend you to try it: it is really easy to use and results generally in a nice looking map.
Some geodata come as a shp-file, which is not accepted by most tools. Use SHPescape to import your shp-file into Google Fusion Tables.
Geocoder converts places into coördinates, which makes it easier for tools to find the place you want to visualize.
Colorbrewer helps you to pick clear color schemes. For maps, but also for other visualizations.